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All comments by Christopher Monsour
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Ah, so you claim you had evidence. Please post your correspondence with the appropriate bridge leagues and federations to prove that you duly brought it to their attention in a timely fashion. If you did not, why shouldn't you be suspended?
Oct. 19, 2015
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The expectations have already changed of what happens if your teammates cheat. The expectation used to be that they would not be caught and that your chances of winning increased; that probably appealed to a certain kind of person. The expectation now is that they will be caught and you will lose the titles you might have won with them. So the expectations have already changed. Why you want to change them further beyond any bounds of civility is beyond me, but perhaps we can agree on something much simpler: Before you try to make further changes, give the recent change that we all like and all can agree upon a chance to work!
Oct. 19, 2015
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If you don't take your ideas seriously enough to expound them more carefully when you post, please don't expect me to take them seriously either.
Oct. 18, 2015
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Are you trying to make a reasoned argument, or to set a record for non sequiturs and loose syntax?
Oct. 18, 2015
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Gene, I have posted elsewhere on BW that I would raise the bar for national organizations to police their own tournaments and players. I think it's ridiculous to expect ordinary players to be judge, jury, and executioner, or to judge people based on rumors. That's either junior high stuff, or pretty dark vigilantism. It's not civilized or reasonable.

If it were possible to prove that teammates were not innocent, then fine, suspend them. But otherwise they should just lose the clouded titles and masterpoints, but no suspension.

It is interesting that everyone who is saying teammates should be suspended is assuming the teammates are sponsors. Most teams in most events do not have sponsors, and even in major team events at US nationals a substantial portion of teams are amateur. If you aren't spending money to hire teammates, why should you be expected to spend money or time to investigate them?

Someone compared the teammates to those driving the bank robbers' getaway car. But that's not the right analogy. The teammates are just the ones who owned the bar where the bank robbers celebrated. If you want to convict them of collusion you need to prove it.
Oct. 18, 2015
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Gary, have you never gone to the partnership desk looking for teammates? Do you “inspect their resumes”? Maybe the tournament sponsors should inspect everyone's resumes before taking their entry fee–they have more resources for that than players who just showed up to play and not to get involved in the Gary Hann soap opera of the day.
Oct. 18, 2015
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Gee, I don't know. Why don't you ask that to Hillary Clinton's email and see what answer you get? :)
Oct. 18, 2015
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I think this is ridiculous…proof beyond a reasonable doubt as a standard for the cheaters, but guilty until proven innocent for their teammates? By the way, the fact that I referred to “innocent teammates” is not an assertion that all teammates are innocent. Please do take the trouble to read more carefully.
Oct. 18, 2015
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Question: What should we do with players who are found to have cheated in other endeavors? Some examples (in increasing order of seriousness form a bridge perspective):
–Cheating on taxes
–Financial fraud
–“Non-cheating” cheating (like getting expelled from casinos for counting cards)
–Cheating at sports (e.g., doping)
–Cheating at other mind-sports, like chess or backgammon or go
–Cheating at other partnership games (like spades or euchre or pinochle)
–Cheating at rubber bridge for money stakes, but never in duplicate tournaments
Oct. 18, 2015
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Do pros even have any obligation to tell you before an event who the other pair will be?

What about pairs who picked up teammates they didn't even know right before an event? (This actually happens even for major national events.) I've played on teams in national events with teammates from another continent whom I wouldn't have known from Adam the day before the event–and friends of mine have done the same. I guess that sort of international friendliness is just taking too big a risk in your brave new world? (Just to anticipate any questions: These were amateur teams…no pros, no clients.)

What about players who had less than a lifetime ban for cheating? That would become a lifetime ban, since no one would play with them after they were reinstated, right?
Oct. 18, 2015
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It's EXACTLY for reasons like this that we can't go around suspending teammates of cheats. So that (possibly false) rumors don't destroy careers.
Oct. 18, 2015
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Best hope is that dummy has only five clubs. I envision 3=1=4=5 opposite 3=4=4=2 or 3=4=3=3. A heart seems most likely to avoid both blowing a trick and guessing a queen. If 2 actually promised six I would probably lead a spade instead (hoping for both black queens with partner).
Oct. 18, 2015
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By the way, it's very dangerous to impose suspensions on innocent teammates of cheats. It will make it easier for someone to destroy the careers of pros they don't like by starting rumors about them…who wants to risk a suspension for playing with a cheat? (Certainly not another pro pair!) It will also result in a lot more hearings about people who start rumors (whether in front of ethics committees or courts of law) because the targets of the rumors will want to hit back harder. The smallest incautious remark about a suspicious line of play might justify a suit for slander. Let's avoid that world.
Oct. 18, 2015
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Sigurbjörn has it right: Beyond nullifying results, we shouldn't sanction innocent teammates (not even innocent partners…this won't be common but it is certainly possible for collusive cheating to involve a player and a kibitzer who is watching his partner's hand–even with screens this is possible with electronic devices– or the same deal at the other table) as they don't have the power to police. We *can* hold national organizations like PBU, ACBL, etc., responsible by suspending them from international competition for not adequately policing their tournaments and members, and/or for sending members to international competitions who proceed to cheat at those competitions. That's because the PBU, ACBL, etc., *had the authority and duty to police*.
Oct. 18, 2015
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Unfortunately partner will also pass 2 with many hands with five spades that give good play for 4.
Oct. 18, 2015
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I guess you worked out from the comment that it was not a singleton. Seems like a problem.
Oct. 17, 2015
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I agree about Qx. I'd bid 3 if you reversed my black suits, but this is a 3NT bid.
Oct. 17, 2015
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Why not? I think it's quite possible the WBF were well-convinced BZ cheated but thought it would be the EBF's place to exclude Poland, not theirs, and the EBF wasn't ready to do this. I'm not saying they did the right thing under the circumstances, but I think it's an understandable thing.
Oct. 17, 2015
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I should add that I would be much more wary in this situation if the question were UI. The hesitator's partner might know which of those hand-types he is more likely to hesitate with, so 25 seconds could transmit a lot of UI. But I don't think I could claim the hesitation misled me.
Oct. 17, 2015
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Keeping score. I mention this only because once playing in a regional KO with very good teammates (one of whom is now a multi-time national champion), they came back to our table at halftime and neither of them had kept score. Fortunately the opponents told us what the IMP score was for the match before they realized that we would have had to believe anything they said.
Oct. 16, 2015
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